Rip Hardmeat


I come to you as the humble sous-chef.   Ever humbled.  Irritated by being humbled.

It’s complicated when you know you’re pre-menstrual and you know your emotions are predicated by that subtle shift.  That I sit down here today grumpy and frustrated on a day that is both intended to be about appreciation of all that you have and all that you might have been spared and a day that is never as intended is not lost on me.

As I did not have a laptop at hand yesterday, I have another thousand word debt day.  There are enough words today for both anxieties and gratitude.

Nothing is constant or irrevocable.  The negative, shitty, egomaniacal feelings can be both true and fleeting.  How I can be so grateful that my mother is okay, in the short-term, generalized, knock-on-wood, doctors pleased with current trajectory way that she’s okay – that she felt as though she wasn’t sure she was going to be around for Thanksgiving all the while I feel frustrated that I stood there, standing next to her all morning cooking and caught hell for it? She literally hovered over me explaining how to open a new coffee container and how to use the coffee maker, holding my arm as I did the scooping. I couldn’t cut the vegetables in pieces of similar size (only they were and it was fine) and therefore, the joke, a joke! A JOKE I know was a JOKE, was that if I was on Chopped, I’d already be cut.  Then, this exhausted, nobody helps me, I don’t want to do this again line when I was there from appetizers to gravy to stuffing to turkey to just about everything we did.  I pulled meat off the godforsaken neck for her.  Ugh.  It’s fine.  It’s petty.  It’ll be forgotten.

It’s familial energy and patterns clashing against one another.  It’s the holiday tension that overtakes everyone.  It is not unique to my life.  Every even somewhat sensitive soul survives holidays in the same way.

I just feel like sometimes I’m not even there.  I’m as consequential as one cool breeze blowing into another.

…I begin to think that there isn’t anything about reviewing my feelings right now that’s worth doing.  It feels like throwing everything soft and juicy and vital in a dryer, just to get it back, starched and stiff.  Is it “okay” to feel crappy on a nice holiday?  Sure.  Is it okay to feel joyful and good about yourself without anyone’s leave or pre-approval?  Sure.  Is it anything to do or be anything that doesn’t hurt or otherwise negatively impact anyone else?  Of course.

Can that be resolved?  Can anything in my life be resolved and set aside if only for a moment?  Is every question forever open for debate? Does having this blog make it seem that way?

I don’t have the time any more to bleat.  A signal, perhaps, for the need of further evolution.  The banner line said it all and said it since the very beginning:  I will change.  Insofar as I am this blog, here, too, must change take place.

Interrupt anxiety with gratitude.  They’re oil and water.

  • I am grateful for a full belly.  And cream soda, even if it is not diet, with ice cubes to keep it cold.
  • I am grateful that we were able to have a Thanksgiving meal all together with all the trimmings. That my mom could make it – in all shades of meaning. That I could confidently, if frustrated by condescension, assist. That the gravy ended up being good.  That it all ended up being really excellent and good.  And imperfect.
  • I am grateful that we were able to have political discussions and didn’t have to feel guilty for it.  Would have been willing to still have those discussions if there had been dissenters, to hear those different points of view when they are argued with any sort of evidence, but it was far less stressful than it might have been to have to dance around topics.  As Fuck Trump seemed to suffice, I was grateful that in the end, we hardly had to talk at all, save about the befluted squirrels.
  • I am grateful for Rieslings.
  • I am grateful for sisters who drive for half an hour to sit in the quiet and august company of strangers for an hour before the tryptophan/social anxiety/surreality overtook us and we went home.
  • Intractable, truculent.
  • I am grateful for the MSTie Turkey Day marathon.
  • I am grateful that we could all agree on Loreena McKennitt’s Night at the Alhambra live concert as an appropriate soundtrack for lunch and that I could feel peace as I listened to it.
  • I am grateful for my terrible impulses, even if I reason them away. They do remind me that I am alive in this body.  I do experience wants and needs and human shades of fallibility.  Not that I walk around feeling otherwise, but the reminder, when you feel that those wants and needs are invisible to others is helpful.
  • I am grateful that if is possible to get to five hundred words, it is equally possible to get to a thousand if one just doesn’t give up.
  •  I am grateful for challenging thoughts – the North Dakota pipeline protests and how they inform the way I think about Thanksgiving.  How the history of the holiday looms large this season and how painfully easy it is to just say it’s okay when it’s not okay.  Not fully, not wholly, not for everyone.
  • I am grateful for the work I do have, the bursts of progress I make, the times when I don’t let the dark and fearful thoughts impede me, the times when I don’t remember I am dogged by those thoughts at all.
  • I am grateful for the hope that buoys me and pulls me to being creative and doing something whenever I feel down and self-centered.  Eventually.
  •  I am grateful for all the people out there doing the same and making their way as best they can with as much kindness as they know how.




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